Author Archives: nickxlevine

Frequency Festival: Hard Music, Hard Liquor at Constellation

Closing out the week-long Frequency Festival which celebrates new directions in New Music, Dal Niente presents their Hard Music, Hard Liquor event once again, this time featuring:

Murat Çolak – World Premiere (2017) for flute, oboe, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin, cello, electronics, multimedia

Huck HodgeApophenia (2014) for flute, oboe, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin, cello

Ray Evanoff – World Premiere (2017) for solo piano

Iannis XenakisPsappha (1975) for solo percussion

Mark Andreun-fini I (1996) for solo harp

Michael BaldwinVarious Terrains ( ≡ degrees of similarity) (2011) for solo voice

Joan LaBarbaraCircular Song (1975)

@ Constellation, 3111 N Western Ave

February 19, 7:30 PM

More information:


Spektral Quartet at U Chicago: “Finger on the Pulse”

Spektral Quartet

Jan 27, 7:30PM

Fulton Recital Hall, 1010 59th St

“Pizzicato, both elegant and brutal, is at the center of this one. Arguably the first “extended-technique” in music for bowed string instruments of the classical era, pizzicato highlights mood and rhythm, expands available colors in an artist’s palette, and is capable of bringing both dance-like lightness and explosive power to a composition.

In a season brimming with new work, we’re eager to present two of the cornerstones of the string quartet repertoire, with Beethoven’s inviting Quartet No. 10, Op. 74 “Harp” and Ravel’s euphoric String Quartet. The pizzicato passages that mark the second movement of the latter are a nod to both Javanese gamelan orchestration and fandango rhythms, and the nickname of the former speaks for itself.

For this century’s entry, we turn to a piece by one of the nicest (and most talented) guys in the biz, Dai Fujikura. We had the opportunity to work on this vivacious score with Dai this Fall at Bowling Green State University, and became fast friends. If past is prologue, the vigorous pizzicato interludes that bookend the piece  are likely to cause the untimely demise of at least one of our strings.”

Spektral Quartet was recently nominated for a 2017 Grammy.


Mocrep at The Arts Club

“Honored by the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt as one of three invited performer collectives at this year’s Summer Courses for New Music, Mocrep collaborated with eight composers from around the world to develop new works for performing ensemble without traditional instruments. They will present Plank Rodeo developed with composer/performer and Arts Club Programs Manager Jenna Lyle.”

Per their website: “Mocrep is a Chicago-based ensemble dedicated to the performance of radical, 21st century music that engages with contemporary culture – aesthetically, socially, and politically. We specialize in works that not only synthesize music, theater, and performance art, but also productively embrace the differences between these mediums. In this way, we hope to expose and explore new possibilities in performance today.”

Jan 17, 7PM

Free and open to the public


Semblance – Kara Joslyn & Soo Shin at LVL3

“LVL3 proudly presents Semblance, a two-person exhibition featuring LA-based Kara Joslyn and Chicago-based Soo Shin. Joslyn’s paintings — largely monochrome paired  with her reflective surfaces — offer eerie depictions of pared down forms while examining the tensions between light and dark. Shin’s creative practice draws upon the dysfunctional ways that faith stimulates a search for struggle, exploring the gray space that lingers between uncertainty and vulnerability. Semblance brings these artists together in a display revealing hidden traits while tearing down preconceived ideas of illusion and space.”

@ LVL3, 1542 N Milwaukee Ave

Opening reception: Jan 7 6-10PM

On display until Feb 12

Big Thief at Lincoln Hall

Big Thief and Sam Evian (both Saddle Creek) on tour together, joined in Chicago by Hoops (Fat Possum) and Campdogzz.

Per their Bandcamp: “Listening to Big Thief is like the feeling of looking at a dog and suddenly marveling that it is like you but very not like you; when you are accustomed to looking at a dog and thinking ‘dog’, watching Big Thief is like forgetting the word ‘dog’ and looking at that naked animal and getting much closer to it and how different it is to you.” Their 2016 debut Masterpiece seemed to rank near the top of practically every major publication’s year-end list.

@ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave

Jan 11, 9PM

$15, 18+



Morton Feldman Chamber Players: For John Cage

The Morton Feldman Chamber Players performing Feldman’s piece For John Cage, for piano and violin. Approximately one and a half hour runtime with no intermission.

@ Constellation, 3111 N Western Ave

December 18, 8:30 PM


Hit The Ground Running Fest – A Fundraiser for Planned Parenthood of Illinois

“This special showcase of the some of the finest new things happening on the Chicago improvised music scene aims to raise awareness and funds for Planned Parenthood of Illinois. All proceeds from tonight’s event will go directly to Planned Parenthood.”

Featuring: Darin Gray, Marker, Ben Lamar Gay/Ayana Contreras, Rempis/Piet/Daisy

@ Elastic Arts, 3429 W Diversey Ave #208

Jan 21, 7:30 PM


MCA Cunningham Event

“Drawing from key works that span six decades of original choreography, former dancers of the remarkable Merce Cunningham Dance Company, perform Cunningham’s signature approach to dance in non-conventional spaces. Presented in the fourth-floor lobby, it is an experience of unmitigated Cunningham genius at full strength. ‘Event’ is performed twice each day during gallery hours (with limited capacity) and last about 30 minutes.”

Feb 11: 1:30-2PM, 4-4:30PM

Feb 12: 1:30-2PM, 4-4:30PM

Free with admission.



“An exhibition of 3D art objects and corresponding cardboard jigsaw puzzle impersonations. There will be puzzles to put together and drinks and snacks. The puzzle-object sets will be available for retail sale.”

Featuring: Alex Chitty Betsy Odom Chen and Kai Christalena Hughmanick Crystal Zapata Emily Kettner Emily Sher Hope Esser Jacqueline Nero Joey Watson Karolina Gnatowski Kay Hoffman Lauren Anderson Lauren Taylor Lilian Martinez Liz McCarthy Manal Kara Matthew Hilshorst Min Song Nick Demarco Noel Morical Sofia Leiby Tom Burtonwood The Weaving Mill

December 18



Meow Wolf DIY Fund

(Santa Fe, NM) In the wake of the Oakland, CA tragedy that occurred at Ghost Ship, a DIY arts and music space, Meow Wolf announces a $100,000 annual fund to support DIY arts and music spaces around the world. Funds will go directly to these spaces for infrastructural improvements, rent assistance, materials and equipment, and other needs as identified by the applicant. Additionally, Meow Wolf will be offering free consultation and support around legal issues, building codes, and organizational structure improvements.

Meow Wolf’s DIY Fund will become available in 2017. Applications will go live at on January 1st, 2017.”

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